Everything you need to know about the crinkled crepe fabric, which has had a big impact on the fashion industry, will be covered in this article.
Crepe is a weaving or fabric treatment technique that produces a distinctive, three-dimensional rippling texture. Garments and other textiles made with crepe fabric are generally delicate and used for ceremonial occasions.
You likely own garments made of crepe or have sewn with crepe before. Although it is renowned for its flawless drape and textural appeal, it is quite slippery, which makes sewing difficult. Examining crepe will help us understand what makes it appealing and how to sew with it expertly.
What is Crepe Fabric?
Crepe is a fabric that is given a special weaving treatment to give it a distinctive three-dimensional and rippled texture. This delicate fabric is used to make delicate clothing and other textiles that are typically reserved for special occasions.
The crepe was traditionally a mourning garment worn by women in many Western cultures. However, this tradition is not widely practiced nowadays. While this was happening, other cultures combined various crepe fabric types to create their textiles.
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What is Crepe Fabric Made Of?
Crepe fabric was initially created from silk, but it was later created from a variety of common materials, including rayon, cotton, chiffon, polyester, spandex, and more. It undergoes a weaving treatment to create the three-dimensional, rippled texture for which it is highly known.
Complex twisting is the name of the initial step in the production of crepe fabric. To create crepe yarn, the textile fibers are tightly twisted in this process. Once the yarn is produced, it undergoes the second step which involves turning the yarn into garments, dyeing, stitching, etc.
The two countries that produce the most goods using crepes are China and Australia. The first company specializes in creating crepes made of silk, whereas the second company creates crepes made of wool.
Common Kinds of Crepe Fabric
The materials and specific methods used to make the fabric, define the different types of crepe fabric out there and what they’re most useful for. It is understandable why you might be curious about what crepe de chine is like.’ or ‘what is scuba crepe fabric?’
There are so many different kinds of crepe that it’d be impossible to list them all, but we have made an overview of the most common ones:
- Crepe de Chine: As the name implies, crepe de Chine fabric is a very thin variety of crepe that is typically made from silk and has its origins in China. The fact that Crepe de Chine is smooth on the skin rather than puckered makes it stand out from other varieties of crepe. For a similar appearance and feel but at a lower cost, this kind of crepe can also be made from polyester.
- Crepe georgette: Crepe silk can also be produced from synthetic materials that resemble silk, such as rayon, to create a fabric that is soft and smooth. In comparison to other types of crepe, crepe georgette is more elastic and has a nice drape. Gowns are typically made of this crepe.
- Polyester crepe: Polyester crepe refers to any crepe fabric made of the material. Dresses, blouses, and pants are commonly made from this lightweight, thin crepe.
- Scuba crepe: Scuba crepe is a kind of polyester crepe with a negligible amount of spandex. This makes it a fabric with the characteristic crepe look and feels on the surface, while also being smooth and elastic on the backside.
- Plissé crepe: This crepe has undergone chemical treatment in order to give it the appearance of folded pleats. Cotton is typically used to create plissé crepe.
- Crepe back satin: Similar to scuba crepe, crepe back satin is a fabric with a satin weave, where one side looks and feels like satin, while the other has a crepe look and feel. It is possible to use any type of fiber to create this fabric.
- Crepe charmeuse: Crepe charmeuse is typically woven in a satin pattern using yarns that were twisted in the crepe fashion. Despite still being smooth and reflective like satin, crepe charmeuse is a crepe fabric as a result.
How Does Crepe Fabric Feel?
Crepe fabric, which comes in a variety of textures and skins, is a very lightweight and soft fabric. Puckered, bubbly, crinkly, pebbly — the texture of this fabric can range from smooth and fine to rough and rugged.
Considering there are so many types of crepes available, each fabric feels and fits differently. No matter your size or shape, it falls and drapes perfectly on you, highlighting the shape of your body. Besides, given how gentle the material feels on your skin, it is comfortable enough for you to wear for both formal and informal settings.
According to the fiber content being used, the following traits may change. Before starting to wash your crepe, always read the care instructions.
- Breathable: Organic crepe is the most breathable, but other fibers provide decent ventilation when worn in high temperatures
- Moisture-wicking: A considerable option for warmer climates
- Flammable: Has low heat resistance (especially when made with silk)
- Rough hand: Its 3D texture presents dimension for garments
- Fluid drape: Its drape makes it suitable for formal wear and evening gowns
- Three-Dimensional: Crepe fabric’s exceptional capacity to take on three-dimensional shapes is another distinguishing feature. This makes it the perfect material for garments.
- Adaptable: This fabric is so versatile and can be used for any occasion including casual clothing and even formal wear, like evening gowns.
Follow the care recommendations on the label when laundering. The required cleaning methods are significantly influenced by the fibers used.
What is Crepe Fabric Used For?
From Orthodox Greek women incorporating crepe into their clothes at the time of mourning to Indian cultures using crepe to make their traditional garments, crepe is a fabric that has made its mark on almost every part of the world.
Dresses, blouses, skirts, pants, and other clothing items are frequently made with crepe., that have a flowy drape to them. Crepe usually gives the appearance of a leaner, thinner body and supports a lovely fall. For formal occasions, ceremonial events, or outfits that must be worn to more festive occasions, it offers the ideal fit.
Crepe has a very distinctive and unique wrinkly effect and is created using a variety of fibers. The heavier crepe fabric varieties are frequently used in home décor items like pillows, curtains, and throws.
Despite being significantly used for clothing wear, it would be wrong to forgo its mention when it comes to accessories. Crepe is a luxurious-feeling material that is also incredibly light and delicate to use. It is frequently used to make delicate accessory items like scarves, hats, and other clothing accessories.
Tips for Sewing With Crepe
- Start your crepe journey by sewing with polyester crepe first because it’s easiest to sew
- Line up your fabric (using selvage for reference if needed) to keep an eye on the grainline, so the fabric doesn’t shift during cutting
- Prewash as instructed
- Work with single layers when cutting to prevent slipping
- Use tabletop scissors or a rotary cutter on a cutting mat to avoid snags
- Line up cut pieces with pattern pieces to double-check for slippage during cutting
- Use straight pins or fabric weights when cutting out pattern pieces
- Use fabric stabilizer when possible (read care instructions first) or apply tissue paper to stabilize the fabric for cutting and sewing
- Adjust your sewing machine to have a low thread tension to prevent puckering
- Increase the presser foot tension to keep the fabric more secure
- Use a new fine-point to prevent snags
- A walking foot will feed the fabric through the machine evenly
- Use an overlock, overcast, french, or zigzag stitch to finish seams
- A blind or rolled hem gives crepe a streamlined and clean look
- To press, adjust the iron as needed and use a press cloth while ironing on the wrong side of the fabric to prevent damage to the fabric
Conclusion: What is Crepe Fabric?
Crepe is typically made of silk, but it can also be produced using other materials like wool, cotton, rayon, and polyester. There are numerous variations in crepe fabric. Because of this, it is not only attractive but also adaptable for use in both clothing and home décor.
With a better understanding of what crepe fabric is, you can freely appreciate its airy drape.